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I've struggled with a drinking problem since my teens, and I've been in and out of AA my whole life. Alcohol was my best friend. Several months ago, my pdoc prescribed me Vraylar for bipolar 2. Around the same time, alcohol stopped producing euphoria for me. I simply don't enjoy it anymore. I've gone from drinking a bottle of wine a night to hardly any drinking at all, ever. Even when I'm out with friends and I really want to enjoy alcohol, I can't. I just don't get a high from it anymore. It's been life-changing for me to not want to drink anymore. I believe it's (at least for now) cured my alcoholism. I've talked to two doctors about these effects and neither had a good explanation. But I'm desperate to know if anyone else has had a similar response on Vraylar. It's only been recently approved for use, so it could have this useful side effect that no one's really researched. I'm also on lamictal, seroquel, Ambien and metformin, but all those drugs have been around awhile, and I assume that if they cured alcoholism, someone would have noticed by now. I just want to scream from the rooftops that my drinking problem has disappeared, but no one seems to be listening. In a way, it's also been frustrating to lose that access to euphoria. But all in all, it's been a good thing for my life, and I wish someone would look into this deeper so that whatever is working for me can help others. 

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I'm no pharmacologist, however, Vraylar is an antipsychotic that acts on the dopaminergic systems. (It acts as a D2 and D3 receptor partial agonist, with high selectivity towards the D3 receptor)

As far as dopamine & alcohol: research shows the brains of alcoholics (and smokers) are typically in a hypodopaminergic state  (where dopamine levels are significantly below average) This would explain why alcoholics continue to seek more and more alcohol in order to achieve the same pleasure.

Even more interesting...Cariprazine has partial agonist as well as antagonist properties depending on the endogenous dopamine levels. When endogenous dopamine levels are high (as is hypothesized in schizophrenic patients), cariprazine acts as an antagonist by blocking dopamine receptors. When endogenous dopamine levels are low, cariprazine acts more as an agonist, increasing dopamine receptor activity.

Keep us posted on your experience. I have experienced a similar sort of "repulsion" to alcohol in the past from medication, but I believe i was taking an SNRI at the time whichin tandem, may have increased dopamine levels.

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20 minutes ago, TakeAChillPill said:

Abilify did the exact same thing to me even at a minuscule dose.  I'm sure others will report in.  

Did you tell any of your doctors? What did they say? Why don't doctors seem to care about this miraculous side effect? All my life I was told the only cure for alcoholism was AA. Now this pill is really helping and my doctors wave it off. 

18 minutes ago, cloudmonger said:

I'm no pharmacologist, however, Vraylar is an antipsychotic that acts on the dopaminergic systems. (It acts as a D2 and D3 receptor partial agonist, with high selectivity towards the D3 receptor)

As far as dopamine & alcohol: research shows the brains of alcoholics (and smokers) are typically in a hypodopaminergic state  (where dopamine levels are significantly below average) This would explain why alcoholics continue to seek more and more alcohol in order to achieve the same pleasure.

Even more interesting...Cariprazine has partial agonist as well as antagonist properties depending on the endogenous dopamine levels. When endogenous dopamine levels are high (as is hypothesized in schizophrenic patients), cariprazine acts as an antagonist by blocking dopamine receptors. When endogenous dopamine levels are low, cariprazine acts more as an agonist, increasing dopamine receptor activity.

Keep us posted on your experience. I have experienced a similar sort of "repulsion" to alcohol in the past from medication, but I believe i was taking an SNRI at the time whichin tandem, may have increased dopamine levels.

Thank you for such a thoughtful and interesting response. I will for sure stick around and keep you all posted. Hopefully the "cure" sticks. It's been working for several months so far. I do miss the euphoria from alcohol, but all in all I'm very happy.

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beckerLTT: I noticed you are also on Lamictal. Mood stabilizers (lamictal, lithium, etc) are used to cut both manic-leaning and depressive moods, so this too may also be preventing the "buzz", euphoria or Hypomania (in psych terms) that you experienced before when drinking alcohol.

I'm not sure how long you have been on the lamictal (or what dose)? This is essentially what a mood stabilizer (if effective) should do. I'm not sure why more doctors do not suggest psych medications (instead of AA) but they should!  Drug addicts/alcoholics have damaged/unbalanced brains and no amount of talk therapy is going to cure that. Smokers are given Zyban (aka Wellbutrin) and it has been proven effective in helping them quit (due to dopamine action)

Anyhow, it's good news because yes, alcohol is a poison.

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54 minutes ago, cloudmonger said:

beckerLTT: I noticed you are also on Lamictal. Mood stabilizers (lamictal, lithium, etc) are used to cut both manic-leaning and depressive moods, so this too may also be preventing the "buzz", euphoria or Hypomania (in psych terms) that you experienced before when drinking alcohol.

I'm not sure how long you have been on the lamictal (or what dose)? This is essentially what a mood stabilizer (if effective) should do. I'm not sure why more doctors do not suggest psych medications (instead of AA) but they should!  Drug addicts/alcoholics have damaged/unbalanced brains and no amount of talk therapy is going to cure that. Smokers are given Zyban (aka Wellbutrin) and it has been proven effective in helping them quit (due to dopamine action)

Anyhow, it's good news because yes, alcohol is a poison.

I have been on the lamictal (100 mg/day) for the same length of time I've been on the Vraylar. I just assumed that lamictal has been around long enough that my doctor would say "Yes, that's a known side effect of the drug." But he didn't say that. He just kind of ignored my comment about how alcohol wasn't effecting me anymore. 

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Cloudmonger makes a fairly plausible explanation.  But my hunch is that the buzzkill is a more or less an outlier as side effects go.  It's just too new to see how it extrapolates to a broader population.  Kind of like the weight loss POTENTIAL of Topamax.  Hardly universal as many here will attest.

I'll ramrod the point that something has killed your desire to drink.  Whatever the mechanism of effect this combo of meds may well be saving your life.  Many,many folks never successfully beat the beast of addiction.  If this is working to keep you sober stick with it.  Keeping alcohol out of your life will make the other MI issues you may endure a helluva lot more likely that your other treatments may succeed.  Stay the course for now.  I hope this helps.

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I don't normally get anything that qualifies as euphoria from alcohol (at least not in a very, very long time), but Jägermeister was always an exception. Lithium completely killed my ability to get any kind of buzz—much less euphoria—off of it, no matter how much or how quickly I imbibed. It was very strange, and it happened very quickly. 

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I fail to see where this is a problem. You admit you were drinking too much and now you drink much less or not at all. What difference does it make whether it is the Vraylar or the Lamictal? Take it as a godsend because a whole lot of people have a terrible time giving up alcohol when they need to.

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I understand why you posted this.  

Before Abilify I LOVED how alcohol made me feel and I really don't know if it is even humanly possible to get as high as I did on just a few hard drinks.  It was a euphoria that I can't even explain.  Very intense.  

It was confusing and somewhat upsetting to me when I was only taking 2mg of Abilify and I suddenly would have some drinks and feel NOTHING.  It was a frustrating mystery but all evidence pointed towards it being the Abilify because that was the only thing that changed and it was the only medication I was taking at the time.

My psychiatrist at the time had one other patient who reported the same thing from Abilify as well.

I am thinking maybe not everyone has this particular side affect just like some people lose their libido on a med and then some don't.  

I was never an alcoholic although you could argue that i could have all too easily became one.  I tried to only drink once a month so i didn't build a tolerance.  I had no problem with that.  

Here is my theory on the mechanism of action- Alcohol increases dopamine and Abilify balances out the surge of dopamine the alcohol induces therefor you don't get high.  

Thankfully I can get pleasure form exercise.  i suggest you try it.  It doesn't have to be anything grueling.  it could just be walking briskly for however long you feel like while listening to music.  

Music also is good for feeling happy.  

You might find other things as I only listed a couple of examples.  

I hope this helps!

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I also don't get euphoria from alcohol,just sleepy and sick. I'm sure this is a interaction between valproate (depakote) in my case. When i was off valproate alcohol did give me euphoria. 

Edited by centaurus
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Abilify cured my drinking problem. I opened a thread about it. It is called doc cured my alcoholism without meaning to 15/01/2018

ps if you google abilify /euphoria/ alcohol you can read more stories about abilify. i m 100% convinced that this drug changes a certain type of alcoholic barin chemistry

Edited by sammymaguire

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